Dubai’s stunning transformation from a quaint fishing village surrounded by vast desert landscapes to a thriving cultural melting pot is something many residents – and visitors – know all too well. But did you know that only 13 cars were registered in Dubai in 1968? Or that petrol and water cost about the same? Here, enjoy 20 strange-but-true facts about Dubai.
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Dubai was founded in 1833 – Interesting facts about Dubai
Founded as a humble fishing village, Dubai was incorporated in June 1833, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that it began to transform into the desert capital it is known today. Approximately 800 members of the Bani Yas tribe arrived in Dubai Creek to establish Dubai for the first time at that time, with a population of about 20,000 by the 1930s. In 2022, Dubai’s population will exceed 3.49 million.
There were only 13 cars registered in 1968 – Interesting facts about Dubai
It seems so hard to believe when you see six lanes of cars darting in each direction on Sheikh Zayed Road that just over fifty years ago, only 13 cars were registered in the emirate. Today, there are nearly 3 million vehicles registered across the UAE.
The Palm Jumeirah can be seen from space
The Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world, is home to lavish luxury villas, pristine private spaces of white sand, and luxury hotels. Interestingly, it took 10.5 million sand dump trucks to make.
When the Dubai Metro opened in 2009, the Dubai Metro was the longest automated rail network in the world
The Dubai Metro, which stretches for 74.6 kilometers, is a popular and low-cost way to see most of the city’s sights. In the decade since its opening, it has been demoted to third place, but is currently being extended to reach the Expo 2020 site.
There are 2.3 males for every female in Dubai
According to data released in 2019, there are approximately 2.3 males for every female in Dubai.
The United Arab Emirates has a Minister of Happiness
The UAE has a dedicated Minister of Happiness, who (unsurprisingly) is responsible for promoting happiness among residents of Dubai and the six other emirates that make up the UAE.
Dubai has held more than 130 Guinness World Records
Three of them include the Dubai Miracle Garden and no less than 11 for the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. More bizarre and awesome feats include the fastest police car in service, most people parachuting out of a balloon at one time and the longest live underwater radio broadcast.
In 1991, there was only one skyscraper in the city
Dubai World Trade Center was the only skyscraper in Dubai for 30 years. Three decades later, there were 215 skyscrapers across the city.
Fuel is slightly more expensive than water
As of November 2021, the price per liter of fuel in Dubai is AED 2.69 for the Special 95 and AED 2.80 for the Super 98. And a 1.5 liter bottle of water (remember, you can’t drink tap water in Dubai) is approximately AED 1.65-2.
24-carat gold leaf covers approximately 1,790 square meters of the Burj Al Arab’s interior.
Dubbed the world’s first seven-star hotel, Burj Al Arab is located on its own island, which can be accessed via a private bridge. Among its most jaw-dropping features is the gold leaf that covers approximately 1,790 square meters of the interiors.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Dubai was in July 2002
During a particularly hot summer in July 2002, the temperature in Dubai was recorded at 52.1°C.
There are ATMs that dispense gold, not cash
About 40 percent of the world’s gold comes through Dubai, making it one of the best places to shop for the precious metal. To make the experience easier, Dubai is home to a few gold dispensing ATMs including those located in The Dubai Mall and Atlantis, The Palm.
Dubai has increased it’s land area
Initially, Dubai covered an area of 3,900 square kilometers, but due to land reclamation and the construction of artificial islands, the area of the emirate has increased to 4,114 square kilometers.
Motorized jockeys are used in camel racing
Camel racing is one of the most traditional sports in the emirate, which has been around for hundreds of years. Since the early 2000s, robot riders have replaced human riders.
Dubai was once home to 24% of the world’s cranes
At the height of the real estate boom in 2006, 30,000 of the world’s 125,000 construction cranes were in Dubai.
The Dubai Police fleet includes some exotic and unusual patrol cars
The fleet includes the fastest police car in the world – the 254 mph Bugatti Veyron. As well as the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, modified Lamborghini Aventador, Aston Martin One-77, ETC.
More than a third of Burj Khalifa is uninhabitable
One of the most surprising facts about Dubai is that 29% of its most famous buildings are uninhabitable.
There are no permanent rivers in Dubai
Throughout the UAE there are no permanent rivers.
The world’s tallest four- and five-star hotels are located in Dubai
Gevora is the tallest four-star hotel in the world at 356 metres. While the JW Marriott Marquis is the tallest five-star hotel in the world at 355 metres.
Almost 85% of its residents are foreigners
Dubai’s population is largely made up of expats, with only 15% local Emiratis. The largest number of expats comes from India, with Pakistan and Bangladesh coming in at the top. Interesting facts about Dubai